You can teach a new parent old tricks

Binkies, Bottles, Bathing, “and thennnn…”

Weaning…ah, what fun. Currently, I’m trying to wean myself off of eleven cups of coffee, a day. No easy feat, and I’m a (mostly) grown-up, who (supposedly) knows what’s good for me. Difficult, to the umpteenth power, is weaning a baby who won’t be dissuaded. I’m a wee bit judgmental, in that, if  a three or four-year-old kid with a pacifier walks past me, it usually prompts a face cringe on my end, at the very least.

As unlucky as I have been with naps and the potty chair, I have been equally blessed in my good fortune, where the title pieces have come into play. She never wanted a pacifier, and nor has she begun sucking her fingers (an exponentially more difficult habit to break). I have been through the binky dilemma, however, with cousins and babysitting charges, of many ages. I have found that, as in most things of this nature, the earlier; the easier.

Kyra (my daughter) was off the bottle, entirely, by her first birthday. It only took about fourteen different sippy cups, before I landed on the right one, again, through the advice of another couple. They, too, were first time parents, with a daughter Kyra’s age, regulars at the restaurant where I worked, and advised me to try the messier, disposable cups, as they were easier for their daughter to use. Luckily, they were right, and it seemed a fair compromise, to clean up after her a little more, in exchange for her smooth transition to the trickier drinking vessel.

In bathing, again, I have been fortunate, indeed. Mine is and, always has been, a very particular, clean child. I have to spell the word, bath, otherwise she gets so excited, she can’t even wait for the tub to fill. She just strips right there, in the middle of the living room, and hops on in. I have to get her clean, let her play for a minute, and get her outta there, or else, she’d stay in the bath forever. She tries to go down the drain, for goodness’ sake. Most kids, you have to pull them out before you pull the plug, for fear of the very thing my daughter attempts to do. She honestly has yelled at me about it, before. As in, “NO! I gotta go down de (that’s “the”, for those of you who don’t speak Toddler) drain!”, when I try to get her out before all the water has swooshed out into the pipes, below. I find that, if we wash, and then play, the  washing is much easier. For example, if you have one of those normal kids, who don’t particularly care for baths, toys and bubbles can be very helpful. Just let them know, if we wash up, now, we can play with the toys, after. Water guns may be a phenomenal ally, here. You can play and wash, at the same time.

She also loves brushing her teeth, clipping her nails, and washing her hands (I know, I know….what am I complaining about; right?). On the nail clipping, I learned early to flip her hand, palm up, so I don’t get any skin, accidentally. If your child doesn’t like brushing, sing a silly song, make faces, or just incorporate a general fun and games atmosphere with it. It doesn’t hurt to remember that there is a time to be serious, but, there’s lots of time, to play. They won’t want to, forever, you know. Surly teenagers do seem to come out of nowhere. So, be a kid with your kid, every now and then. You’d be surprised at how fun it is.

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